Is the Ford Flex Their Best Vehicle That’s Not Selling?
How does one describe the Ford Flex? It’s an 7-passenger wagon that carries a funky look and loads of extremely useful options.
It’s rated highly by Consumer Reports, which is rare for Consumer Reports, and is profitable for the company. But why aren’t they selling more of them?
The sleuths at Automotive News attempt to tackle the question. What they find are a couple of really interesting data points.
The vehicle is extremely successful in California. They talk to Vista Ford, outside of Los Angeles, which has sold 19 Flexes in the first two months of the year. One of their sales managers says it’s one of their best-selling vehicles.
“It’s one of our top sellers. Lease loyalty on it is very high. People lease it and then come back and get another one.”
That would make sense with what we’re hearing from dealerships in the region. We talked to Mike Correra, sales manager at Raceway Ford, and he says he gets a lot of lookers, but not necessarily buyers.
Taking large amounts of money off the hood of the vehicle makes it something people come in to look for, but still seem a bit shocked by the price tag. Leasing is a great way to get the payments where people want for that vehicle.
Also, Americans like SUVs, and the Explorer offers an alternative to the Flex. Automotive News states that after the introduction of the Explorer, the Flex became a much more niche vehicle.
Mike at Raceway Ford and his team sold just one Flex last month, but sold eight Ford Explorers.
The Flex does offer some interesting options that you simply can’t get on the Explorer. Space is the first thing; it can actually carry seven passengers in relative comfort, where the Explorer’s third row is a bit cramped.
You can also get the Flex with captain’s chairs in the center row with a refrigerated center console. Not just cooled by the air conditioner, an actual refrigerator where you can put juice boxes or beer.
Like the Explorer, the Flex is available with a tow package and the turbocharged 3.5L V6 EcoBoost, which makes the Flex fast and even more capable.
If you don’t need the ride height that comes with owning the Explorer, the Flex is a unique alternative that is rare and stylish.
Loyalty is also high. Automotive News reports that many buyers who get a Flex replace it with another Flex when the time comes to trade up.
According to Automotive News, the Flex isn’t going anywhere. If they sell just 20,000 units a year they’re doing well for that product.
It also received a bit of a freshening up in 2013, making the retro styling a bit more modern. As of now, the company is mum on when it’ll receive a complete redesign, but if Ford likes the vehicle (and it seems like they do), I would definitely expect to see a new one in the future.
What do you think of the Flex? Would you buy one? Sound off in the forums and let us know!